The sun is out. Ok, kind of, but once the fog has cleared, it'll be lovely. We must always have hope! Speaking of hope, there is one man right now who is inspiring hope and faith in so many people - Alex Zanardi. Unless you're a motorsports fan or have been watching Paralympics hand cycling race, you're probably thinking "WHO"?
Alex Zanardi started kart racing when he was 13 before he eventually made his way up to Formula One. After a few years in Formula One, he moved to the US and switched to CART, which is like America's equivalent to F1. He was doing particularly well on this one fateful day before losing control of his car and was hit at full speed by another car. He lost both legs in the crash. Three months later he was up walking (on prosthetic legs), and two years later he completed the last 13 laps of the race that he didn't finish because the accident. He gave up motorsports eventually to train in handcycling race for Paralympics 2012. He won GOLD. Here's an article on his win: Alex Zanardi Wins Gold in 2012 Handcycling Race.
If you've read it, did you notice what he said? "I have been lucky as usual"! How utterly amazing is that? He nearly died. His legs were decimated in the crash. As one of his doctors said, "His legs are gone", as in the crash took his legs off him! His heart stopped SEVEN times. He's never complained, and never had any thoughts that he was somehow less without his legs. He immediately started working out how to go about doing the things he loved: being a dad, a husband, a racer! If he'd despaired and given up, it'd be easy to understand. Instead he chose to be grateful for being alive.
Here is a quote from his official website: Alex Zanardi
My race is now at the prosthesis center of Budrio, the challenge is to make a pair of legs work. They do not have blood, but they hurt a lot, they are cold like metal, but they make me sweat as if I am always climbing, they allow me to move forward but they make me fall.
That's why people value my tenacity. The press follows my story and the same do media. A well-known person like me becomes now famous because of, or thanks to, what he was subjected to and to those very same prosthesis that, after lots of stifled painful tears, give him back the life and satisfactions.
I return to my travels, to everyday things and, even without knowing it, I move close again to my own world.
I am so in awe of this man. It is this gratitude, this willingness to focus on the positive, that opened him up to possibilities. Gratitude creates space to allow more positive to flow in. When we focus on all that is wrong, we fill our lives with negative energy. Where then is there room for the wonderful things we want to flow in? However hard things get, there is always room for gratitude. When things are not as we want them to be, be grateful for the strength that you have to cope with the situation. Reflect, learn and be grateful for the lesson. You can even be grateful when someone is nasty to you because you now know how not to treat others. See, everyone and every situation is a teacher when you choose to learn. If you want to know more about Alex Zanardi and to be inspired by his courage, his positive outlook, his awesome ability to accept reality and be grateful, have a look at these two clips that I posted at the bottom of this blog (click on the buttons).
Speaking of which, can I just say I'm so grateful to all of you who have liked my Facebook page. I can't believe we've got 108 likes already. Please do drop by and leave a comment on FB or on here. If there is a pose you'd like to learn or if you would like me to film a short video showing poses or sequences that target certain parts of the anatomy, please do let me know too.
In the meantime, I'll just keep posting poses that I find helpful for me and my body right now! Today, it's the Puppy Pose. Click on the button below for your step-by-step guide to this wonderful shoulder stretch. If you sit at a desk all day long or cycle for hours or lift heavy weights (like a child or a dog!), you will love this.
For more shoulder-freeing, and also hip-opening yoga, please join my workshop on September 30, 10-1:00 (or 12:00 if you want a shorter session). See workshop for more details and contact me to book a place.
Right, it's time to go out and enjoy the sunshine, for which I cannot possibly be any more grateful! See you in class (see Group Classes or Private Classes for details) or at the workshop or, better yet, both! Have a happy September.